How Have Anti-Sexual Assault Movements of the Last Decade Evoked a Response from Heathers the Musical Writers, in Changes Made to the Script Between the 2014 Off-Broadway Production and the 2018 West End Production?
This study explores how anti-sexual assault movements of the last decade have evoked a response from the writers of the musical Heathers, by analysing how they changed the script from the Off-Broadway production (Murphy and O’Keefe 2014) to the West End production (Murphy and O’Keefe 2018). This study includes an exploration into the Me Too and Time’s Up movements as well as the What Were You Wearing? art installation (Brockman and Wyandt Hiebert 2014) and documentary The Hunting Ground (Kirby and Ziering 2016), examining why they were created, what exactly each of these movements or projects do and how they have impacted present day society. These findings are then used to create a critical lens to perform a comparative textual analysis of the Heathers script in its 2014 version (Murphy and O’Keefe 2014) and the updated 2018 version (Murphy and O’Keefe 2018). Throughout the comparative textual analysis of the three main changes made to the Heathers script, this study finds that the biggest response to the anti-sexual assault movements within the study are within the replacement of the song Blue (Murphy & O’Keefe 2014) with You’re Welcome (Murphy and O’Keefe 2018) due to the nature of the scene. The other two changes made responded by creating stronger female characters in each scene that was changed. This study concludes that anti-sexual assault movements of the last decade have not directly evoked a response from Heathers writers. The response has been evoked through present day society’s changing attitude towards sexual assault and rape caused by the anti-sexual assault movements.